I’m so Thankful for our Beaches
The November 2022 Gratitude Challenge has all been about being thankful. We’ve had the entire month to share up to 4 posts about what we are grateful for, which no doubt is pretty easy to do. It’s been fun to participate, but even better to read so many wonderful posts about gratitude and being thankful!
For my last post, I wanted to share my gratitude for our Carlsbad beaches. I am thankful in so many ways! I have spent the majority of my life near beaches, or within an hour or so, on both the east and west coasts. For me it would be very difficult to live far away from the beach, and the lifestyle that I enjoy so much.
Carlsbad is essentially one big beach, about 7 miles long. And there are a number of different named beaches (e.g., Tamarack Beach, South Ponto State Beach, North Ponto State Beach, Hole in the Fence, Warm Waters, Terramar, Jetties, Army Navy, and more).
There are plenty of access points, some more difficult that other. Some have stairs, a few areas are accessed by beach paths, and in some areas you can walk from your parking spot along the Coast Road right onto the beach (especially in South Carlsbad).
Carlsbad beaches offer excellent accessibility, and that’s a lot to be thankful for. While we have a couple of parking lots at the state beach where there is a fee, for the most part parking is free along the Coast Road (aka Route 101 and Carlsbad Boulevard). You can also park in adjacent neighborhoods across the street if needed. Thus all residents and visitors can park and enjoy the beach whenever they wish for free.
Thankfully, the beaches in Carlsbad are NOT limited to the fortunate few who can afford to live on or next to the beach, but are available to anyone – the beaches are not private.
Obviously parking can sometimes be a challenge, especially in the summer, when the weather is particularly nice, around the holidays, and for special events like the Carlsbad Marathon.
For those who enjoy camping there are a number of options at the state beaches on the bluffs, including accessible camp sites and tables. I am not a camper but I’ve heard the camping areas are very popular and fill up fast, even a year in advance.
There are designated parking spots for those with disabilities, and the South Ponto Beach area offers an accessibility ramp as well as a beach wheelchair.
There’s something very tranquil about the beach, even when crowded on our summer holidays. Personally, I find it immediately relaxing to take walks or even just to drive along going to and from appointments. Or to stop for a few moments at sunset to enjoy the beauty.
Even better when my wife and I take a few moments, along with my camera, to enjoy nature’s beauty, especially the sunsets.
I’m thankful to be able to enjoy a lifestyle by the beach and all that the beaches offer that suit my style and personality. That, so far, does NOT extend to surfing! And I’m grateful to be able to help others find their lifestyle and home by the beaches.
The beaches are a big draw for visitors year-round, who, in addition to our residents, contribute to the local Carlsbad economy and our growing community.
I’m grateful for the private, city, county, and state organizations who help keep our beaches in Carlsbad clean, and deal with erosion, beach sand replenishment, and related issues like bluff collapses. I think most people are careful when using the beaches, but some leave trash scattered about or climb on the bluffs which can cause erosion issues, as well as being dangerous.
Here are just a few of these organizations: Surfing Madonna Oceans Project, the Surfrider Organization, the California Coastal Commission, San Diego Coastkeeper, I Love a Clean San Diego, and the Carlsbad Department of Parks and Recreation.
These organizations organize clean-up efforts, provide education, and some sponsor fund-raising and educational events. Of course residents and visitors can do their part to help protect our beaches and keep trash from the ocean.
I’ve lived in Carlsbad near the beach for almost 18 years now and continue to love where we live. I’m so very thankful we live here, and to be able to help those who want to live here to do so!